LAHORE: Pakistan Peo­ples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has urged the establishment to explain allegations being levelled against it by two Karachi-based political parties about their botched merger.

“The PPP has always believed that in a democratic set-up the establishment should have no role in politics, but what the Muttahida Qaumi Move­ment-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) did a couple of days ago demands that the establishment must respond to the allegations levelled by the two parties,” he said while talking to the media after visiting the house of the late PPP worker Hara Saeen here on Monday.

“Karachi’s politics is being made dirty and the establishment should explain allegations of its role [in the MQM-PSP merger],” he stressed.

He claimed that the PPP would win the 2018 polls on the basis of its public service, while Imran Khan, retired Gen Pervez Mushar­raf, MQM and PSP would lose.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said the PPP had ideological differences with the ruling PML-N, but it didn’t mean that the latter’s government should go before time.

“The government should complete its [constitutional] term,” he said, adding that he was at loss to understand why Mr Khan was demanding early polls. “Perhaps Mr Khan fears that he may lose if the polls are held on time,” the PPP leader said.

He said that former president Gen Pervez Mushar­raf was an absconder and that he must be brought back handcuffed to face court cases filed against him.

The PPP chief said the former army chief was wanted not only in a treason case but also in cases of assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto and Nawab Akbar Bugti, and emphasised that the law should equally treat civilian and military leaders.

Census

The PPP leader said that his party was ready to accept results of the recently-held census provided Sindh’s reservations were addressed.

He held the PML-N government responsible for the census controversy, adding that the PPP had expressed its reservations soon after the start of the census process.

He recalled that the party had moved the court while the Sindh chief minister had also written to the federal government a letter explaining his reservations over the census.

He said the PPP could swallow the bitter pill of supporting the legislation on census results, only if the party’s reservations on it were removed.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that six million people in Karachi were not counted in the census and the average family size in Sindh had been given as six against seven in Punjab.

Earlier, he condoled with the family of Hara Saeen and also met Saeen’s granddaughter, Benazir Bhutto, named after the slain party chairperson. He made Bena­zir wear the party’s tri-colour cap.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2017

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